Dave Roberts stands by Dodgers’ platoon-system approach

first_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers veteran Chase Utley (not on the active roster but in the dugout each game) is known for having a high-level ability to decipher opposing team’s signs as well as spotting pitch-tipping. He spotted something that helped Rich Hill in September.“Minus the use of technology, which I would hope is not going on, if guys are getting the signs from second base and relaying them to the hitter, you’ve got to be a little bit more savvy as a pitcher to have multiple signs and change your signs if something like that is going on,” said Hill, scheduled to start Game 4 for the Dodgers. “I don’t have a problem with guys relaying signs from second base to the hitter because if you’re not … prepared to change your signs to a different set of signs or whatever your variation might be, that’s on you, the pitcher. That’s the way I look at it.”Cora took a similar stance.“You just have to be prepared as a team. That’s the only thing you can do,” Cora said. “Stealing signs and tipping has been going on forever. I learned in, I don’t know, in Miami in college, we used to do it. I don’t know if that’s good for the program, but, yeah, we used to do it.” Grandal’s offensive and defensive slumps in the postseason led to six consecutive starts for Austin Barnes. But Barnes went 2 for 22 and is not as adept at controlling the running game as Grandal has been.“No. 1, we’ve got a right-hander on the mound (for the Red Sox),” Roberts said when explaining his decision to start the switch-hitting Grandal. “He’s had a lot of repetitions and has caught Walker (Buehler) quite a bit. And this is an aggressive base-running team, and more specific, they like to steal bases. So for us to have a guy that can kind of deter that a little bit, I think that’s a good thing.“I just feel that the last three or four games for Yasmani to not start, to give him a little reset – I think he’s in a much better place mentally. And the way Porcello typically puts the right-hander on the ground, I like the left-handed bat, as well.”During the regular season, the Red Sox were third in the majors with 125 stolen bases, second in success rate (80.1 percent).SIGN STEALINGRed Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie was quoted after Game 3 saying the Dodgers had been stealing signs in the first two games. He pointed at Manny Machado, in particular, for signaling to Dodgers batters from second base.There were also suspicions (on both sides) of sign stealing during the ALCS between the Red Sox and Astros, including an Astros employee being removed from the photo well near the dugout.“It’s been going on since the game came to be,” Roberts said. “There’s a gamesmanship part of it, where you’re trying to get an advantage and coaches, players, do that every day.“I guess everyone’s probably guilty of that or attempting to do that.”Related Articles This was news to the national media who swarm the World Series. But it is a platoon system the Dodgers have used to mostly great effect to get to this point and Roberts sees no reason to change now.“I don’t second-guess that. This is what we’ve done all year,” Roberts said. “Every day is different. Every left-handed starter, every pitcher is different. But there’s no second-guessing as far as who we ran out there in those first two games.”The Boston Red Sox have done similar things, platooning Steve Pearce and Mitch Moreland at first base, Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt at second base and searching for favorable matchups in pinch-hitting and relief situations. The results have favored the Red Sox and their manager Alex Cora was asked before Game 3 if a manager can get on a roll in the postseason just as a hitter or pitcher can.“No. It’s all about the players,” Cora said. “They’re talented. We get information. We put them in spots that we feel that they’re going to be successful. But in the end, they’re the ones who hit homers and make plays and actually they make managers look good. That’s it.”CATCH UPRoberts’ most difficult decision for Game 3 might have been at catcher, where he opted to give Grandal his first start since Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start LOS ANGELES — When Dave Roberts wrote out his lineup cards for Games 1 and 2 in Boston, he made history.It was the first – and second – time a team in the World Series had decided not to start its top four home run hitters from the regular season (Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson).“I keep adding to my record-setting list,” joked Roberts, who also holds the record for most pitching changes (606) during a season (2016).Roberts started all-right-handed lineups against left-handed starters Chris Sale and David Price in the two games at Fenway Park. Against right-hander Rick Porcello in Game 3, Bellinger, Muncy, Grandal and Pederson were all back in the starting lineup. Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies last_img

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